Carrot Cake kicked the door to Sugarcube Corner shut and took off toward the Whitetail. Behind him, he could still hear Cup crying from inside. She yelled out apologies between sobs. He ignored them and ran.
He held onto the anger. It hurt less to rage, to spit fire into the air at nopony in particular. So long as he was angry, so long as it was all somepony else’s fault, it didn’t hurt. He told himself that Celestia owed him for nopony else being around and he swore at ponies who couldn’t hear him.
He hated Cloud Kicker for suggesting it.
He hated Milky Way for doing it.
He hated Pinkie for hosting the damn party.
He hated Celestia for the cruel joke of it all and for inventing alcohol in the first place.
He hated Cup…
He tried to stop his mind from finishing the thought. He even stopped and beat the side of his head against a old oak to squash it.
…for letting me say yes.
Carrot’s hooves gripped onto the old tree’s trunk as the first hard sob tore through him. The tears poured out, washing into the rough bark of the oak. Carrot held on as his legs failed him, sliding down the trunk. He stayed where he fell, sobbing. His body curled itself into a shaking ball. Now and then, his leg would kick out like a child throwing a tantrum, cutting into the dirt or clipping an errant rock, but he didn’t move from his spot.
In the end, exhausted and worn to the soul, he passed out under the tree.
Dawn came and, with it, Carrot returned to the world with a snort and a start. The sun of the new day didn’t brighten his mood. He was sore, cold, thirsty and the night out left his joints full of grit, figuratively and literally. For the briefest moment he thought he’d gotten drunk and wandered into the woods; something that hadn’t happened in his married life. But the memory of the trip to the doctor’s came back before he could enjoy the fantasy.
The results had come back.
Twins, the paper had said. Fraternal. One, a unicorn. His.
One, a pegasus. Not.
Seven years of trying and they’d finally given up.
Go to a party, he’d said. Try to get our minds off of it. Indulge for a night.
Carrot forced himself to stand. His body protested, but he managed it. He had to do something, to move, anything. Even though his guts felt like lead, he forced his hooves to shuffle vaguely toward Ponyville.
Seven years of trying, and they’d finally succeeded, but his somepony else’s child was inside his wife. Even if he could bring himself to suggest it, there was no keeping just one.
His hooves took him to the Ponyville park. He found a willing bench and laid himself down on it; resting his weary head on crossed forelegs. It was still early, but already there were families coming out.
Families, he thought bitterly, whose children are theirs.
The lead in his gut twisted and froze. If there were tears left, they would have flowed. Unwilling to move or return home, he stayed there, watching when not fading out of consciousness, for hours. In time, some families left and others arrived, these ones bringing picnic lunches. Pinkie was out there, with her friends. He knew all of them, of course. Everypony did. Right then, three little fillies ran by with Twilight’s baby dragon following not far behind. He stopped briefly, hands clasped in front of his chest.
Carrot watched the little dragon beg Twilight for a moment before she rolled her eyes and said something. The dragon cheered and ran off after the fillies. Twilight watched after him, smiling the same knowing smile Applejack and Rarity were giving the departing group.
A pang in his gut made Carrot look away.
In time, the foals returned and spoke animatedly to their older siblings, and anypony who’d listen, as they all left the park.
The lead in Carrot’s gut only got heavier.
Later, as mid-afternoon came, he saw Sparkler carrying Dinky through the park. The little filly was sound asleep on her adopted sister’s back. The older filly didn’t seem to mind.
And then they were gone, heading back to the home they shared. A few tears finally fell from his eyes that day.
What am I doing?
“Carrot?” a voice said to Mr. Cake. The first one to speak to him since the night before. The voice belonged to Milky Way. It was a voice, he knew academically, he should hate, but only a dull, vague and discomforting anger came when he tried to call on it. He turned his head to the newcomer. The young, white stallion wasn’t looking at him, instead gazing off to the trees; a hoof scratched at the back of his grey mane. ”Um… hi. I heard that you and Cup went to the hospital yesterday, so…”
Carrot smiled at the stallion, “Yep. She’s pregnant. We just found out.”
The white stallion managed to blanch. A forced smile grew on his face. Carrot smiled a little wider at that; he couldn’t help it. Even if a tiny note inside told him this wasn’t nice.
“Twins,” Carrot continued. He could see the stallion swallow hard.
“A boy and a girl. The boy’s a pegasus.” Milky was shaking.
Carrot laughed. “We couldn’t figure it out until we remembered Cup Cake’s great aunt’s second cousin was a pegasus. But, the tests don’t lie, they’re both mine. We were worried for a while.”
Milky Ways hit the ground with the whump. He waspassed out cold.
Carrot walked into the home he shared with his wife. The store was closed, and it didn’t look like it had been opened that day. He found Cup in the kitchen. Their eyes met as he entered, but neither spoke. The worry in Cup’s eyes were answered with a sad, but hopeful smile. She came to him, slowly and in starts, as if afraid he’d vanish. She stopped, mere feet away. One hoof held in front of her, her mouth worked to say something that didn’t come.
Carrot nodded; the same smile on his face. “I’m sorry,” he said, finally.
Cup’s hooves wrapped around his neck so hard they hurt, but she only wrapped his own around his wife and held her. She was crying into his neck, whispering, “Thank you,” into his skin over and over.
He held her until she cried herself out, hating himself through it all and swearing never to hurt his wife again. As she calmed, a thought came to his head that wouldn’t leave. He found himself laughing. “Cup? If anypony asks, your cousin Peach is a pegasus, okay?”
The sniff of confusion followed by an indulgent sigh told him that it would be.
Poor Mr. Cake. This was an interesting explanation of the two different species of Cake babies, and an intriguing look into how Mr. Cake felt about it. His eventual realization that he could and would love the child as his own regardless of genetics was sweet, and I liked him letting Milky Ways off the hook. Well done!